Two killed as protesters mark anniversary of massacre in Sudan

KHARTOUM (Reuters) -Two men were killed on Tuesday after Sudanese security forces fired live rounds and tear gas at demonstrators marking the anniversary of a deadly raid on a protest site during the country's 2019 uprising, said medics, protest groups and eyewitnesses.

In response, late night demonstrations sprung up across the capital Khartoum and photos of protesters blocking roads with bricks and burning tires appeared on social media.

In a statement early Wednesday morning, Sudan's military said two people died in what it called "unfortunate events" as protesters were leaving a protest site. It said it would investigate and cooperate fully with judicial authorities, including handing over anyone shown to be involved.

In a separate statement Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok described the use of gunfire against peaceful protesters as a crime demanding immediate justice.

Crowds had gathered in central Khartoum to commemorate the second anniversary, according to the Islamic calendar, of the raid on a sit-in protest in 2019.

Despite roads leading to the sit-in site in front of military headquarters being blocked, eyewitnesses said crowds rallied, demanding justice for the 2019 raid.

Two men died from gunshot wounds, said a medical source, protest group the Sudanese Professionals Association and eyewitnesses, and more than 20 people were injured.

A spokesman for the police could not be reached for comment.

At the time of the 2019 raid, Sudan's opposition said 127 people were killed, while authorities put the death toll at 87. No one has been held accountable, as a long-running investigation has not yet concluded.

In response to Tuesday's killings, the alliance of families of those killed during the uprising said on their official Facebook page that they would begin organising nationwide non-violent resistance.

"The slowness of the justice system in uncovering crimes and bringing the criminals to trial has became a constant cause for concern," Hamdok said in the statement.

Hamdok called for meetings between Sudan's military and civilian leadership to "review and correct our path". Sudan is ruled by a partnership between the military and civilian political parties who appointed Hamdok and most of the cabinet.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Dan Grebler and Michael Perry)

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